# Primary Sources on Copyright - Record Viewer




A publisher's 'Friendly Reminder' about reprints, Schmalkalden (1591)

Source: Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg, online edition 'Rechtsquellen der frühen Neuzeit' http://rechtsquellen-digital.uni-hd.de

A publisher's 'Friendly Reminder' about reprints, Schmalkalden (1591), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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            Chapter 1 Page 1 of 1 total

Friendly Reminder / to all
God-loving Book printers, / Booksellers,
and Publishers.

            It is true that the Lord Christ, Our faithful Redeemer, / has prescribed to us in His
Gospel an excellent precept and rule, / to which all Christians, / who mean to be obedient
disciples of this merciful Master, / should rightly keep - / namely when, in Matt. 7:12 and
Luke 6:31, He says: "All things whatsoever ye would / that men should do to you / do ye
even so to them." / And if this rule, / which, moreover, God has naturally engraved into
the heart of every human being, / were indeed to be pursued, / then everything would be
well on earth. However, few are those who live up to it, / and there are indeed many who,
/ whilst they handle the Bible every day, / nevertheless live entirely contrary to this rule.
Thus we have ourselves experienced in these times, in particular, amongst us printers and
booksellers, / how, driven by vile greediness, one of these will often / reprint, or arrange
to be reprinted, / another's book or work - / which the latter had prepared / and published
at great expense - / seeking his own profit to the latter's detriment, / in spite of the fact
that / it is clear to everybody / how such an action runs utterly counter to God's Seventh
Commandment ("Thou shalt not steal").
            Since I have purchased and produced the present work at quite significant
expense, / and since the production of its Second Part, which is due to appear eventually,
won't cost me less, I would like to, first of all, propitiously direct every printer and
bookseller to the aforementioned precept of Christ, / and then for my part to kindly ask, /
as well as to warn in good faith, / every such person to abstain from reprinting or
republishing this book / to the detriment or hindrance of my livelihood, / so that he does
not incur ruin and curse from God, / and so that I am not forced, / however rich and
influential he may be, / to publicly proclaim and brand him a thief, / because, with his
greed for gain, / he presents himself as such both in appearance and in fact, / against
God's injunction and against his own better judgement. Honour-loving Christian printers
and sellers cannot and will not take this necessary reminder of mine amiss. I would
herewith like to take the opportunity again / to wish them, all and sundry, / prosperity
and luck from God for their profession.

                                                      Michel Schmück


No Transcription available.

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